Meet Megan Skala, RT(R) | Radiation Sciences Programs

Meet Megan Skala, RT(R)

Meet Megan Skala, RT(R) Megan Skala

As a 17-year-old senior in high school from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Megan was unsure of what career path she wanted to follow.  Randomly, while she was finishing up her last few months of high school, she came across the Radiologic Technology program during a career day that was held at her high school.  “I thought it looked really interesting, and with having history of my own fractures (arm, wrist, and foot), I knew somewhat about having x-rays and all about hospital visits.  I remember bringing the packet home after career day and showing my parents.  They of course told me I would be a great fit for this career and pushed me to apply.  So in January 2001, I applied to Mercy/St. Luke's School of Radiologic Technology in Cedar Rapids.  It wasn't long after that, I found out I was accepted!  I graduated from Jefferson High School in May 2001 and started school at Mercy/St. Luke's School of Radiologic Technology in July 2001.  I honestly had no clue what I was actually getting myself into!  Was this really what I wanted to do?  The good thing was that there were many modalities that I could choose after the radiology program if I wanted to further my education...there were so many different options.

A week after completing the radiology program in June 2003, I was hired on at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  I planned on working here for no more than 5 years.  I wanted to get some of the best experience in Iowa, and then follow my mindset of either Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy, CT, or perhaps moving to another state.  Five years came and went.  I loved it here.  I became more confident and actually loved working in Diagnostic Radiology.  Within our department, I would rotate to General, Portables, Operating Room, Emergency Room, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Fluoroscopy, Family Care Center, and Sports Medicine.  I loved always staying busy and moving around to different areas.  My favorite areas to work were Ortho, the ER, or Fluoro.  But for those who know me now, know that my favorite area by far is in the Operating Room!  I slowly made my way to be in charge of the Main OR and Stead Family Children's OR for the last 11 years.  You can catch me running around in my pink cheetah print lead up on 5th floor!”

When asked what Megan’s favorite exam was, she responded with “the Operating Room keeps me pretty busy Monday-Friday.  I still get the chance to take x-rays throughout the entire hospital while working weekends, or picking up overtime shifts.  I have always loved working on poly-trauma patients down in the Emergency Room and taking portable images on these same type of patients in the SNICU (Surgical and Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit).  I think I work best in non-routine, fast-paced atmospheres, and that's exactly how it is on a daily-basis in the Operating Room.  I obtain these same images during intense surgeries, while efficiently moving the C-Arm to provide the optimal view so the surgeons can perform their surgery adequately.  I enjoy working with all of the OR staff!  I would have to say my favorite case would be a pelvis, femur, or tibial fracture, or assisting Dr. Michael Willey on a Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO)… anything that keeps me moving throughout the case!”

I have worked as an Imaging Technologist at the University of Iowa for 17 years now.  Although, I haven't furthered my education like I planned, or moved to another state, my two beautiful daughters (5 and 8), close family, great co-workers, and excellent job have kept me grounded in Cedar Rapids.  I truly believe everything happens for a reason.  And I am happy where I'm at.

Megan’s advice for those of you interested in Radiology (or know someone who is): “it's a great career with many possibilities to further your education if you decide.  I, personally, really like the variety of working in diagnostic.  With additional schooling you could do Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, PET (Positron Emission Tomography), Radiation Therapy, CT, MRI, Cardiac Cath, Interventional or just so much more in the medical field!  Imaging Technologists care for patients and are often the first ones who recognize a fracture or disease within the patient.  We also work close by nurses and doctors to help treat the patient. After 17 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve cried and laughed with patients and with my coworkers.  I’ve learned A LOT, and continue learning new things all the time. It sure is a fun experience!”


Wednesday, November 11, 2020